The Temple & Tabernacle

The Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives, with the Old City of Jerusalem and West Jerusalem beyond. To the left is the Aqsa mosque, while in the centre is the Dome of the Rock, marking the position of the Biblical Temple.

Since the recapture of Jerusalem, by the state of Israel in 1967, the Temple Mount has developed worldwide political and religious significance as the key to Middle East peace negotiations. In addition to its symbolic and spiritual significance for the world’s three major monotheistic religions, the Temple Mount has unique archaeological significance as the site of Solomon’s Temple dating from around 1000BC. As restored by Herod the Great in the 1st century BC/AD it became the largest temple complex in the ancient world. Despite its destruction by the Romans in 70AD, the memory of the Jewish Temple became one of the most important influences on the development of Western art and architecture.

According to the Bible, Solomon’s Temple replaced a portable shrine called the Tabernacle. Described in some detail in the book of Exodus, this is the oldest building specification known. Like the Temple, it was designed by God. It was first erected at the base of Mount Sinai around 1,500 BC. The ancient texts describe its fabrication, construction and use in great detail, while the New Testament offers insights into its symbolism and meaning. The Tabernacle was an inspiration for Le Corbusier, the father of Modern architecture, and has important artistic, symbolic and spiritual messages, which are still relevant to architects today.

We maintain an active research interest in both the Temple and Tabernacle, as well as other biblical themes relevant to architecture. Link to article.